Collections and Projects
At the University of Alabama, we have developed a simple, robust digital library system using PHP, MySQL, and Apache. The new system is free, easy to set up and administer, imposes no new work flows or skill set requirements on archivists, bypasses the need to create extra metadata wrappers, works in all major browsers, runs on the most common web server stack, and automatically creates and updates its own index database (while storing no valuable data inside it).
NHPRC Grant Project: Digitizing the S. D. Cabaniss Papers
The grant "Digitizing the S.D. Cabaniss Papers", part of the "Digitizing Historical Records" effort by NHPRC, was funded for 14 months. The intent was to provide online access to the content in a low-cost, scalable model which simulates online the experience of the patron in the reading room. That is, the finding aid provides the descriptive information about the content, and from the finding aid, content in each series is linked in the order found in each file and box.
We are currently using a version of this workflow to digitize and present the Pauline Jones Gandrud Papers, an extensive collection of genealogy research.
The University Libraries now has two Crowdsourcing projects to allow users to "tag" or "transcribe" materials from our collections. Crowdsourcing is defined as a distributed problem-solving and production process that involves outsourcing a task to a group of people -- it allows difficult and time-consuming projects to be tackled a bit at a time, and by a large group of individuals, working asynchronously and at their own pace.